Intro to breeding( Crested Geckos)

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

So its almost 2020, and you know what that means!!! Females have been cooled down,juveniles that you grabbed a year ago maybe gained that weight you where waiting for, and its time to sit down and think about what you want to produce this next year!
This is one of the hardest things to do in my opinion , thinking about what you may want to produce and your goals for the next year. I just want to make it a point,that you don't go pairing geckos together for no reason. Do not try and produce geckos that you think other people may like, because by the time they pop out and are big enough to sell, the market may have swung another direction. For example this past year bi colors where all the rage. I saw bicolors sell for 400$ depending on lines and who was selling them. You couldn't give away bicolors  just a few years ago. Breed for yourself first always and you will never be disappointed.

So the breeding season is usually from Feb-October. I live in South Texas so my breeding season can start as early as December. Where you live and what climate you are from, can effect when you will pair. You want to be able to incubate eggs at a constant temperature. If you can not control your temps to about room temperature then wait awhile until you can.
Of course after you chose your pairings you are going to want to weight your females and males to make sure they are big enough to pair. For now the recommended weights are 45g+ for females and 40g + for males. Males can breed on the smaller side, but ultimately I go by how aggressive the male is and how receptive the female is. A lot of the females this year are 50g+ and even though they seem to be more of the docile pairings in the reptile world, they can and will do a bit of damage. You will need to keep an eye on your pairings, this can be done when you are feeding/ cleaning. Record your weights before breeding, i use water proof labels to record weights and pairing dates.

Now if you are new to breeding then the actual act of them breeding might be startling. The male will "chirp" at the female to show interest, he will start biting her where ever he can reach ( a leg, the tail, her sides) until he is on top of her or to the side and will bite into her crests so he can subdue her long enough to insert his penes into her cloaca( male crested geckos have two penes). Most of time if you leave them be you won't see this, but breeding can cause loss of crests, small cuts, scars, calcium crashes, prolapses, and geckos may lose weight from the stress. This is why research is so important and why I am writing articles to help you.

A lot of people wonder how to pair their geckos. I have done the separate tubs to try and see visual locks,introduced the female to male's enclosure and vice versa, and I have even tried to do the trio tubs. The way I do it now, is introducing male to the female enclosure. I put the male in ( usually in the evenings when they are awake) and then close the door. He will stay until the female lays fertile eggs, which in the perfect world would be about 30 to 45 days after being introduced.  If the male is to be paired to different females I alternate every two weeks until the female lays fertile eggs. I use to do trios, but I am an anxious person and I need to know what female the eggs come from.

You will know the egg is fertile by placing a light under the egg( I use my phone).It should show a red ring and depending on how long those eggs have been laid, it may show as a red giant spot or the whole egg will look red. Infertile eggs look skinny, and will shine bright yellow. My advice is to incubate all eggs if you are new to all this. The infertile eggs will eventually mold over and sink into themselves.

Their are different mediums to incubate your eggs in. I have personally used Hatch Rite, organic vermiculite, sphagnum moss, and perlite. I did link to the  items but most you can find at your local hardware or garden store.  I did have a bad year with Hatch Rite and maybe it was a fluke, but I do not use Hatch Rite anymore because of this. This past year I used sphagnum moss but you do have to spray it down a lot more then other mediums. The plus for me is when my kids hatch out, they don't get covered by incubation material. They are good until I can get them moved out. For a container I use a fishing tackle box, which I like a lot because it has adjustable rows and I house eggs separate. Again, just like the mediums there are many ways to actually house them, this is the way I do it.

Now this is just an intro post so I will be going into depth about each factor later on!

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